Why should we bother with an obscure hole of water and have a website by the unlikely name www.pool-of-siloam.com?
The answer lies in a well-known but perhaps glossed-over story, in the ninth chapter of the Gospel according to John, about an unnamed man born blind whom Jesus healed.
The disciples of Jesus asked Him as to who sinned – the man, or his parents – and therefore who was, or were, responsible for his blindness. Jesus’ reply: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3, NKJV, throughout, unless otherwise indicated).
Jesus went on to do one of such works – a miraculous wonder – upon the blind man. The curious method He used on this man has spawned some reactions, even speculations. For one thing, some have questioned the seemingly unhygienic “therapeutic” practice of Jesus! Could you imagine, say they, how unsanitary it was for Jesus to spit on the ground and, with His saliva, mold a kind of clay poultice or ointment to apply to the man’s congenitally blind eyes.
Who was Jesus?
Before we pass harsh judgment on Jesus, let’s stop a minute to consider just who, really, He was before He came to be born of Mary through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38).
The Bible affirms that Jesus was the God who created all things. John testifies: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-4, 14, New King James Version, which I have chosen to use in most of my writings; see similar testimony also in Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).
It was Jesus who formed Adam out of the dust of the earth (it had to have the consistency of clay in order to be formed into the shape of man) and breathed life into his nostrils so that Adam became a living being (Genesis 2:7). If we believe this, how can we question Jesus’ way with clay upon the blind man? Did the method result in the man’s eyes becoming infected in some way? No. As we can see from the result of Jesus’ “treatment,” the blind man came away seeing – to the amazement of those in the community who recognized him as the former blind beggar (John 9:7-10, etc.).
Beyond physical healing
Is Jesus thus giving us, in this story, a lesson on how to cure physical ailments? Some people have used this tack to teach that, while we trust in God for eventual healing, we — just as Jesus made an ointment from dust – should be doing something physical to help ourselves. Certainly this has some merit.
But I submit that thinking along these physical lines alone misses the whole point of the story!
Beyond mere physical blindness, God is more interested in healing spiritual blindness. This is obvious in the way Jesus wrapped up the whole narrative about this blind man: “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see [or think they see] may be made blind” (John 9:39).
The Pharisees who heard Jesus say this retorted: “Are we blind also” (Verse 40)? To which Jesus replied: “If you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say ‘We see;’ therefore your sin remains” (Verse 41).
The blind man saw Jesus for who He was – the Son of God sent by the Father – and he believed (John 9:4, 35-38). By contrast, the Pharisees who thought they knew God and could “see” or understand spiritual truth, were actually spiritually blind and wouldn’t admit it! And, because they refused to believe Him whom God sent – to believe that Jesus “came from above” (compare John 8:23-24) – He judged this as sin that remained with them. And they remained spiritually blind!
And like everybody else who remains in sin, these Pharisees “were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
Spiritual blindness – who is behind it?
Paul points to the being who is responsible for causing the spiritual blindness in all of unbelieving mankind: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Who is “the god of this age?” None other than Satan the devil! Paul exhorts Christians to “put on the whole armor of God” in order to be able to withstand the wiles of the devil and his demons, who are “rulers of the darkness of this age” (Ephesians 6:11-12) — Satan being their “prince…. who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Satan has “darkened” – blinded – the minds of all humanity into giving itself over to “lewdness” [“sensuality,” NIV], working “all uncleanness [“impurity,” NIV] with greediness” and thus alienating mankind from “the life of God” (Ephesians 4:17-19). Satan has, in fact, deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9)! He has caused the majority of mankind to become blinded!
Sin – being without the law of God, transgressing or disobeying it (1 John 3:4) — alienates man from God (Isaiah 59:2), who alone can give man everlasting life upon belief in Jesus (John 3:16) and repentance from sin.
Although Satan is the “father” of sin and the cause of man’s spiritual blindness, our sovereign God is still in charge – as He was in the case of the congenitally blind man of John 9. God told Moses: “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the LORD” (Exodus 4:11)? God may use Satan to blind people physically or spiritually, but this only by God’s permission. God is still in full control!
It would seem like Jesus meant the clay poultice He placed on the blind man to symbolize the spiritual blindness that has come upon all mankind since our first parents (Adam and Eve) succumbed to Satan’s temptation. Mankind has since lived in spiritual darkness, unable to perceive the things of God.
God will eventually see to the healing of all mankind’s spiritual blindness, thereby giving mankind spiritual light and life everlasting, in His own time and way. Satan cannot put one over God! Satan’s fate has been sealed, as Jesus saw it: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). When the final battle is over and the score is shown, Satan and his demons come out the losers (Revelation 12:7-9; 20:1-3, 10). God’s purpose will prevail!
Healing spiritual blindness
Because of His wondrous love for mankind – for the whole world – God sent His “only begotten Son” (Jesus) into the world not “to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him and upon belief in Him, might be saved” (John 3:17) — not perish or die. Those who truly believe in Jesus are no longer dead in their sins. Through Christ, God makes them truly alive, with the promise of obtaining everlasting life (Ephesians 2:5-6; John 3:16) when Christ returns to earth (Romans 8:23-25; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
How can one believe in Jesus – in this Son of Man who was also the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:13-16) – the One whom God sent to save the world?
This is something to which God the Father alone has the sovereign right: to choose whom to reveal His Son to, and show mercy to (Matthew 16:17; John 6:44, 65; Romans 9:15, 18), and to whom He will grant His Spirit of understanding. Paul explains: “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen [the natural mind of man is spiritually blind!], nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit….no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who [or that] is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-12). Paul meant to refer to members of the Church of God — and those whom God would call later into the Church — as the “we” and the “us” here.
Among the first acts of compassion by Jesus was the healing of the blind – both the physically and the spiritually blind. He sent word to the doubting John the Baptist [or, more correctly, the Baptizer], who languished in prison, about proofs of His being the awaited Messiah: “The blind see, the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). Jesus also told His disciples: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:16-17). Jesus was talking here about seeing and hearing – understanding – spiritual things, the “deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10).
This was exactly as it was prophesied of the Messiah: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah 35:5-6). As will be made clear by articles on this website, God has set a time-table for this and other prophecies to be fulfilled — in His own time and way.
Pool of Siloam
Like the blind man whose eyes Jesus plastered with clay as a symbol of the common human condition of spiritual blindness and whom He commanded to go to the pool of Siloam, so people whom God the Father has chosen are commanded to go, with their natural-born eyes of clay – unseeing spiritual reality – to a spiritual pool of Siloam (which means “sent,” John 9:7), to be healed of their spiritual blindness. This is how the work of God is revealed in such people (John 9:3).
Jesus summed up God’s work as this: that we “believe in Him whom He [God the Father] has sent” (John 6:29). Several times in John’s gospel Jesus referred to God the Father as “Him/He who sent Me” (e.g., John 4:34; 5:24; 6:38, 40; 7:28, 29, 33; 8:29; 9:4; 12:44, 45; 13:20; 15:21; 16:5, etc.).
The original pool of Siloam, believed to have been built by Judah’s King Hezekiah near the temple in Jerusalem, had been buried under the rubble from centuries of Jerusalem’s warfare and devastation. Now archeologists have dug up the rubble and claim to have found the original pool of Siloam.
Jesus, whom the Father sent, remains ever alive at God’s heavenly throne (Revelation 1:18; Acts 7:55-56). While awaiting His return, Jesus’ chosen ones – His disciples – have His presence and company through the Holy Spirit which He promised to send – and did send – to His disciples after His bodily ascension to heaven (John 16:5-15; 20:21-22; Matthew 28:18-20).
While in Jerusalem on the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, probably near where the pool of Siloam was at that time, Jesus cried out to the Jews gathered there: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). John notes that, using water as a symbol, Jesus “spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive” (Verse 39).
Washed with the Spirit
It is God’s Spirit, promised to those whom the Father has chosen to grant belief or faith in Jesus, which enables the believer to “see” with the “eyes of faith” the deep things of God – secrets of His kingdom which He has hidden from most human beings, until their time to be visited by God’s salvation.
When we wash our spiritual eyes in the spiritual water (the teachings or words) of Jesus Christ (He said His words are “spirit and…life,” John 6:63) we will see Him for who He is: the One whom God the Father has sent. It’s as if, like in the case of the repentant and believing apostle Paul (formerly Saul, whom Jesus blinded and whose sight was restored when Ananias, whom Jesus sent, touched his eyes, Acts 9:1-20), scales of deceit inflicted on mankind by the arch-deceiver Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9), fall off from our spiritual eyes when we truly believe in Jesus.
Thus will happen what was first prophesied of Christ to do: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened….” (Isaiah 35:5). We will come to see and believe that Jesus was indeed sent by the Father.
Sent for what?
God sent His Son to be born as a human being – Jesus, who also thus became “the Son of Man.” Jesus was sent to reveal the Father and His will (John 1:18; 6:38-40) and also so He could die for the sin of the world.
From the foundation of the world – as the world was being created – God had already set apart Jesus to be the “Lamb of God” that was to be slain, and was slain (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 13:8), to redeem mankind from sin and death.
Jesus said of Himself: “…the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:21). Through His death upon the cross at Calvary, Jesus poured out His blood that is able to wash away the whole world’s sin – each person being thus “ransomed” — saved from sin and death in his or her time appointed by God.
Jesus’ resurrection proves that He was indeed the Son of God and not just an ordinary mortal. The apostle Paul affirms that Jesus has been “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). As an eye-witness to the resurrected Christ, the apostle Peter said of Him: “God raised [Him] up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:24). We have “the answer of a good conscience [because forgiven of sin] toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Because of this, our forgiveness is complete; we are fully reconciled to God (1 Corinthians 15:17; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. And we receive the hope of salvation – everlasting life, a life redeemed from the death and corruption of a purely physical being (John 3:16; Romans 8:20-25) – when Jesus returns to this earth.
While He walked this earth, Jesus trained disciples whom He later sent out (John 20:21) to preach the good news about salvation in Him, and about the coming kingdom of God which He will establish on earth when God sends Him back here. But before that kingdom comes, Jesus said that that gospel will be preached “as a witness” to the whole world (Matthew 24:14).
God has set up His plan in such a way that none of those He has chosen to save in this age can come to true belief unless those persons hear the true message of salvation. And how are they to hear it? Paul says, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). Further, “And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Verse 15).
This work of preaching has gone on for centuries since Jesus’ ascension to His Father in heaven. It is continuing to be fulfilled now, and will culminate in the work of God’s “two witnesses” and an angelic “evangelist” (Revelation 11:1-12; 14:6-7) just before Christ’s return.
Believe it or not, Jesus has sent true servants down through the centuries of church history! They have been rejected, as Jesus was, by a Satan-blinded, God-hating world. As Jesus told His disciples: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-29). Like Jesus, God’s servants have been scoffed at – even killed – by those whose spiritual eyes remain blinded by Satan (John 16:2-4) – as the “two witnesses” will be killed for their testimony (Revelation 11:7-10).
Instead, we have had a myriad preachers who claim to speak for God but, as God sees it, He has not sent them (compare what God said of similar preachers in Israel of old, Jeremiah 27:14-15; 29:8-9; Ezekiel 13:1-70)! They have been the false prophets who, Jesus prophesied, would proliferate in these our end-times (Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24). As a result of the deception purveyed by these false preachers, “…many [not few] will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth is blasphemed [“evil spoken of,” KJV]” (2 Peter 2:1-2).
To say that today Satan has his legion of false prophets preaching to millions a confused and confusing religion in Christ’s name, while Jesus has no prophets of His own around, is sheer mockery of Jesus’ sovereign power! As Isaiah 59:1 declares, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened!”
Rather, Jesus has had His “pool” of Spirit-guided preachers and teachers whom He has sent to this world since His ascension to heaven. “The Lord gave the word; great was the company who proclaimed it” (Psalm 68:11). “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:18, quoted from Psalm 19:4). Daniel 11:33-35 shows that during this “time of the end” there will be “people who understand” God’s truth and who will “instruct many.”
This website is one of several “rivulets” that seek to faithfully reflect and proclaim the true teachings of Jesus Christ and of the entire Bible. It is our prayer that we are contributing “pure water” to that pool!
It behooves everyone in this day and age of cyber and television, as well as radio and print, ministries to “prove all things” — to “test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And having done this, you need to stick to what you have proven, with God’s word, to be true (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
One dependable Bible touchstone is Isaiah 8:20, “To the law [of God] and to the testimony [of Jesus, directly or through His prophets and apostles, Revelation 19:10]! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light [truth] in them.”
Wash in this pool!
You are heartily invited to “wash” your spiritual eyes in the waters of this “pool of Siloam.”
Like a “pool” of those sent by God, this website will seek to link interested visitors to other websites that basically and essentially carry the same message. I am not here to simply duplicate or compete with what has already been said. Rather, my purpose is to complement — if not amplify, clarify and even set aright, as God directs — what others have taught about God’s Word. I believe God, through His Spirit, has also inspired me with fresh insights into His Word.
In the matter of minor, disputable doctrines, I suggest that we all exercise tolerance and not engage in debate (2 Timothy 2:14; Titus 3:9). Obscure aspects of God’s Word will eventually be made plain and clear towards the very end of this age, and certainly when Jesus returns (Daniel 12:4; John 14:26; 16:13; Matthew 10:36).
May the wonderful works of God be revealed in you, like it happened with that blind man of John 9 at the original pool of Siloam. As you do “wash” here, may God grant you His Spirit and the miracle of “eyes to see” His marvelous truth in His Word – and may you believe! As you believe the truth you see, may God lead you to His gracious salvation in Jesus (Romans 1:16; James 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:15).
And remember: although God holds the key to who are called in this age, He is open to anyone who truly seeks Him with all of his heart.
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Paul told his heathen audience in Athens about his God: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).
It is only through the gift of God’s Spirit that we can find God and understand the “deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-12). Jesus assures us: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:13)!
Why not ask Him now?
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.